Norden exposure

Denis donates classic scripts to archive

Denis Norden is to donate hundreds of his early radio scripts to a university archive.

The material, which he co-wrote with the late Frank Muir, includes episodes of the much-loved Fifties series Take it From Here, a sketch-based show that starred comedy greats such as Jimmy Edwards and June Whitfield and set new standards for post-war humour.

And the jokes include the now-legendary line - later used in Carry On Cleo - "Infamy, infamy, they've all got it in for me!"

The scripts had been stored in the garage of Frank Muir's widow, and will be a valuable addition to the University of Sussex's collections.

Archivist Dorothy Sheridan said: "These are the first comedy scripts we have been given and compliment the Mass-Observation archives here of the Forties and Fifties. They consolidate the University's interest in popular culture."

Norden will had over the material to the University of Sussex in October at a lunch also attended by his daughter Maggie, a student at Sussex in the 1970s, and Muir's son Jamie, a TV producer.

Jamie said: "We wanted the scripts to come here because of various connections and because the University has always been so fantastically helpful. It also seems a natural home for them because of theuniversity's interest in media studies."

Media studies lecturer Andy Medhurst, who is currently writing a book on comedy and Englishness - called A National Joke, expected to be published next autumn - said the contribution made by Muir and Norden to British comedy was profoundly important.

"Take it from Here is often regarded as one of the most influential programme of its era, shaping a whole generation of radio comedy," he said.

Published: 19 Aug 2002

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